The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to trade wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.
Cooper joins the Browns after attempts to restructure his five-year, $100 million contract were unsuccessful. The Browns received a sixth-round draft pick along with Cooper in exchange for fifth- and sixth-round selections, according to sources.
Cowboys trading Amari Cooper to the Browns
While the first two years of Cooper’s five-year, $100 million contract were guaranteed for skill, injury, and salary cap (for $40 million in guaranteed compensation), the $20 million salary that the former Alabama standout is due this year becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year in March. Currently, it’s guaranteed for injury only.
Cooper caught 6 passes for 64 yards and a touchdown in an NFC Wild Card playoff game loss to the San Francisco 49ers. During the regular season, he hauled in 68 passes for 865 yards and 8 touchdowns. Cooper caught 92 passes for 1,114 yards and 5 touchdowns two seasons ago.
The Jacksonville Jaguars were among the NFL teams that talked with the Cowboys about a potential trade for Cooper and are expected to be a major player in the wide receiver free agency market, according to a league source.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones comments before Cooper trade
The situation involving the four-time Pro Bowl selection, already being watched closely in league circles, became more of a topic for conversation when Jones spoke openly about the deal on his radio show in Dallas recently.
“I don’t have any comment on Cooper’s contract,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “I thought that we were playing early when we did make something happen — I thought Cooper had a big part in that. And I’m not being trite, but how he fits in and should take half the field with him when he goes and runs the field.
“Not half, half is an exaggeration, of course, but a whole bunch of that defense should have to honor Cooper,” Jones continued, “And he ought to be able to catch it in the middle of when they’re going with him. Others do. You throw to people that are covered all the time in the NFL. You have to. Most people don’t have the numbers of receivers we’ve had.”
Cooper’s stats with the Dallas Cowboys
Cooper averaged 85.5 catches for 1,151 yards in his first two seasons with the Cowboys after being acquired in a 2018 trade from the Raiders. Then, Dallas signed him to the big contract.
“The reason those contracts are being discussed is because they have two sides to them,” Jones said. “One’s got it coming, and the other one’s got to pay it. And the one that’s got it coming is going to go out and perform usually to the level of the contract.
“That’s the way I think about those contracts. You don’t just get up and take contracts or agreements with each other and just decide that because you’ve had a big (loss) at home that you’re going to change directions.”
Meanwhile, the Cowboys are continuing to work on a contract extension for wide receiver Michael Gallup with progress being made and no deal imminent, according to a source.